The global construction industry is growing. It’s expected to reach a value of $20 trillion by 2020. As construction demand continues to grow both at home and abroad, companies have to keep up. One way construction companies are addressing expansion is by adopting new technologies. There are so many different technologies available today. New technologies continue to force construction companies to evolve.
How is technology in construction changing the way you do business? As it turns out, technology touches almost every aspect of your operations. Read on to learn more about the changes technology is bringing to the industry.
New Materials and New Methods
Technological advances in construction have been changing the way almost everything is done. One of the most noticeable areas of change is the materials used. New technologies are allowing for innovative steps like recycling concrete. Scientists are also hard at work developing more eco-friendly materials. Carbon fiber is showing its strength as a construction material.
Tech tools are also changing how construction companies work with these materials. Prefabrication is nothing new, but 3D printers are. Innovative businesses are experimenting with 3D printing whole buildings. Once printed, they can be moved to the job site.
Revolutionizing the Job Site
Construction technology is also changing the job site itself. Drones, for example, are being adopted on a wide scale. These tools enable more precise surveying, even from a remote site.
Drones and mobile devices have other benefits for the construction site as well. With them, it’s easier to track what materials you need and how much to order. This capability can save companies cash, as it reduces material waste.
New technology is also allowing job sites to be more interconnected than ever before. If one site is short on material, you can check in with other sites. Then you can ship the material over instead of ordering more. Drones can also keep tabs on productivity. They can even update clients on when to expect job completing. Live construction drawings provide another way of keeping clients up to date.
Making the Job Site Safer
Improved safety is another benefit of technological advances in construction. Drones and mobile devices make it easier to watch the job site from remote locations. Workers can report hazards sooner. You can deliver instructions for how to deal with these dangers as easily.
Technology can even help your employees stay safe by giving them warnings. Helmets are mandatory safety equipment, but they’re now becoming a wearable tech. Special lenses and augmented reality capabilities can provide early warnings about hazards. Wearable tech can also keep track of how much time someone has spent on the job site. Rests and breaks are important. Tired workers are more prone to making errors that lead to injury.
Machine Learning and Predictive Analytics
The artificial intelligence revolution has been a hot topic for the last few years. The construction industry has been adopting AI in stride. One of the most famous examples is driverless vehicles. No construction company has adopted these vehicles at scale yet. It’s likely driverless vehicles will replace drivers soon.
AI has many other uses for construction companies. These technologies need huge amounts of data to “learn.” You can also make this data available for your company analytics. Predictive analytics takes this data and uses it to determine what’s most likely to happen. Some AIs may be able to predict when you need to order particular materials. Others will help you identify issues around the job site and make recommendations for avoiding them.
Predictive analytics and machine learning can help you market more effectively. It can also improve safety around the job site. It can even help you create better schedules for your workers.
New Simulated Realities Bring Projects to Life
More technologies that have generated buzz are virtual and augmented realities. The case of virtual reality demonstrates how technology is changing construction. You no longer need to present prospective clients with 2D drawings or 3D models. You can create an immersive VR experience. This also enhances your own design and planning for any construction project you take on. You can envision the unique challenges of planning for a zoo or amusement park.
Augmented reality, as mentioned before, is more useful around the job site itself. Its incorporation into wearable tech can help workers avoid hazards and work smarter. It can also help them perform tasks like measuring.
Technology in Construction Gets Smart
Another thing technological advances in construction are doing is making construction projects smarter. Some companies are investing in smart roads or smart buildings. Building information modeling, or BIM, is part and parcel of this movement. BIM allows you to generate digital representations of a building. You can then use this to track physical characteristics and functions.
The data contained in BIM can help you make better choices about the materials and fittings in a project. Its use extends far beyond the initial construction of a building. When construction is complete, BIM data can inform maintenance schedules and more. This can keep projects on budget, both during construction and afterward as well.
Organizing the Office
We’ve already touched on how predictive analytics helps create better work schedules. There are other ways technology can help in the construction office. Whether it’s monitoring your compliance with OSHA rules or organizing paperwork, technology makes it easier.
Gear up for Success
Technology in construction is revolutionizing almost every aspect of the business. If you haven’t yet, it’s time to adopt some of the new technologies driving construction forward. As the construction industry expands over the next few years, you should adopt the latest tech. They’ll help you keep pace as your company benefits from industry growth.
If you’re not sure which technologies to adopt, talk to the experts. Even a small change can make a huge difference to your bottom line.